I kept having the Tom Petty song “Runnin’ Down a Dream” playing through my head as I worked my way through three rounds of Microsoft interviews. Since declaring Computer Science as my major in 2000, getting into Microsoft has been my #1 career goal. In fact, it was after my 2008 interview there didn’t go as I would have liked that prompted me to go to Grad School to get my Master’s in Computer Science. Really, taking that action of going back to school sums up what the desire to be a Microsoft employee has always done for me: it’s driven me to be the best software engineer I could be.
What’s interesting is after being turned down for the four positions I was up for, I’m not devastated. Frustrated? Sure, but that’s only because I got so close. Like I nearly beat the boss in a video game and lost my last life when my opponent had just a sliver of life left. And, of course, it’s one of those games that makes you play the last level all over before you can try your hand at the boss again. Will I be back? Probably, given I don’t like to leave things half finished. Will I need time to sum up the desire to work my way through that last level again? Definitely.
On the many bright sides to come from the experience, I do know what I want in my day to day job now and that’s to use the knowledge I picked up in Academia (Though I’m not going to deny working somewhere that gets a 100 from the Human Rights Campaign would be nice). I also know what I really need to work on to be a better author of code which I think, once I get down, I’ll be able to take that final boss next time should I so choose to try. Thing is here in this particular postscript, I won’t be putting my life on hold to work on these things. Having a Microsoft employee badge with my name on it is no longer so important to me I gotta drop everything and pursue it, which I think is a very healthy turn from where I came from.